Kathryn Holt

Artist

"Caution, grief, anger, determination, self sacrifice, heroism, loneliness, and frustration, are all around us. They are bound to show up in the work and be our record of our world as they always have been."

Describe yourself as a maker/artist/creative 

I’ve been a producing/exhibiting artist since 1984, after earning a BA, MFA. I was also a full time faculty member at a college in Colorado, before moving to Maryland. I’ve also been a resident/Visiting Artist at institutions on four continents. My work has evolved over many years; it’s what keeps me going, keeps me excited, keeps me happy...and sometimes in despair when it’s not going well.

What are you currently working on?

 

I usually work on paper or canvas, mixed media, very dense images that usually start with a photomontage I create, then use as the source for what follows. They are rooted in an idea that we all experience a bombardment of visual stimulus, that has a deep, if not always positive, resonance within us. All that outside stimulus, plus our unique well of other experience, make us who we are. I’m just sharing what I see, feel with the rest of you, sometimes in an orderly way, sometimes as a miasma. I’m always interested in what others see in the work, how it affects them ... if they can engage with it, or if it at least gives them pause.

Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?

I didn’t think it had, until a friend shared her thoughts about two montages the other day and pointed some things out to me. One image has all these different kinds of cells in it, tumbling through it. Another has a black frog jumping into the upside down Duomo in Florence. She thought it was the dome of the Capitol in DC.  Both much more timely that I realized. I’d thought about their shapes, color, and textures; until I got what I thought was an engaging composition. But ... there you go. There’s the human, the personal or the collective, in whatever we intend.

 

In your opinion, what role does the creative process play in helping us confront our “new” reality?

 

I’d like to give you a lofty answer to this one, but basically, I can only share what I see and hope it will help others see, too. A doctor friend who has worked with the AIDS, polio, MERs, and SARS epidemics has shared his thoughts with me. Even the specialists, those who can tell us what to expect if everything goes well over the next few months, can’t know what the new normal will be. Caution, grief, anger, determination, self sacrifice, heroism, loneliness, and frustration, are all around us. They are bound to show up in the work and be our record of our world as they always have been.

See more of Kathryn's work here.